After 34 games, 27 of which being conference matchups, we’ve finally arrived at the Hockey East playoffs. UConn’s 16-7-4 record during the regular season got the team the No. 3 seed for the playoff bracket, pitting it against No. 6 BU for the quarterfinals.
The Huskies and Terriers have a long history, with BU having the upper hand for most of it. While UConn has had more success as of late, one constant for the head-to-head is relatively low scoring. The Huskies have an all-time average of 1.86 goals, while the Terriers average 2.65. This season most likely contributed to bringing both of those numbers down, as in the three times the team met, the final scores were 2-1, 1-0 and 1-1. Due to these close games with few goals, while UConn did not lose against BU this season, it certainly won’t be an easy round for the Huskies.
On UConn’s offense, many different players could prove to be the difference maker on Saturday. In this season’s Hockey East play, the Huskies had six players score eight goals or more: Natalie Snodgrass and Summer-Rae Dobson had 11 each, Viki Harkness had 10, Danielle Fox had nine and Jada Habisch and Morgan Wabick had eight apiece. Wabick also led the team in assists, tied with her sister Taylor at 18 each. In addition to topping the stat lists for the season, each player mentioned contributed to scoring against BU this season.
In the goal, Samantha Carpentier-Yelle started all three games against the Terriers this season, amassing 71 total saves and one shutout.
For the Terriers’ offense, this season’s squad was led by Courtney Correia, Julia Nearis and Mackenna Parker. Correia was BU’s only 10-goal scorer this season, finishing with 11 in the Hockey East, while Nearis was the sole Terrier to record double-digit assists with 13. Parker finished third behind Correia and Nearis in total points, combining eight goals and six assists.
Similarly to UConn’s goaltender situation, BU has had two players primarily in the net this season. Unlike the Huskies, both played in the two teams’ season series. Between Callie Shanahan and Kate Stuart, the Terriers recorded a total of 92 goals across three games.
After the Saturday game, the winner will go on to play in the semifinals on Wednesday, March 2, with the finals being played next Saturday, March 5.
So far in the tournament, Hockey East No. 7 Providence defeated No. 10 Holy Cross to qualify for the quarterfinal, where they will face No. 2 Vermont, while No. 9 Merrimack defeated No. 8 UNH to earn a matchup with No. 1 Northeastern. Both games will be played on Saturday, along with the UConn vs. BU game, while the last quarterfinal will be played on Friday, between No. 5 Maine and No. 4 BC.
All the action between the Huskies and the Terriers begins at 3 p.m. at the Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs.